7 Tips on Keeping Your Focus While Writing a College Paper

Rohan Mathew

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The life of college students consists of many lectures, tests and assignments. However, it is sometimes difficult to concentrate even on the most interesting task. It seems that in the 21st century, we are constantly distracted by something, whether it’s Facebook notifications, e-mails, or talkative roommates.

Of course, you can trust professional paper writers with your homework these days. Yet, if you want to finish the paper without any distractions or external help, read on. 

Organize Your Desktop

No doubt, when the space around us is organized, it’s easier to focus on a task. First of all, you need to exclude the very possibility of being distracted by something. So, make sure there are only those things on your table that you truly need. Then, try to find a suitable place for each item on your desktop.

Also, empty the drawers of unnecessary things and remove piles of old papers. Let’s admit it: you probably won’t need a physics notebook for grade 8 and a 2-year-old movie ticket.

If there are still lots of files and documents that are important for you – use organizers. They are great at unloading the work surface.

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Close the Tabs You Aren’t Using

A large number of open tabs creates digital clutter. It is known to reduce the productivity of even the most disciplined employees. Thus, your computer desktop also has to be kept clean. Of course, dozens of open programs, dialogues and web pages won’t contribute to your organized mood. 

When working at a computer, don’t be lazy to close everything that you aren’t using at the moment. You can also download an app that closes all tabs if they are inactive for a certain time. Or install a browser extension that limits the number of tabs.

Eliminate Distractions

Once you get rid of unnecessary tabs and things on your desk – try to eliminate anything that interferes with your concentration. Thus, start with letting your roommates know that you are working and don’t have time to talk. 

Are you used to working in silence? Then use earplugs or headphones. For those who are disturbed by music, the sounds of nature can be an excellent solution.

It would be also great to download programs that block any distracting sites, especially social media. If you are too attached to your smartphone, hide it in a bag or drawer. You will soon notice that you really don’t need to check messengers and notifications that often.

Stick To a Plan

Before you start writing your paper, make a detailed plan of what you need to do. It is one of the simplest and most efficient tools for organizing your workflow efficiently.

The first thing on your to-do list should definitely be choosing the paper’s topic. If you are free to decide what to write about, then you can focus on the themes you relate to. This way, you will definitely come up with better arguments and examples.

Another important step is to do research and collect the information. The more articles, reviews and comments you read – the better. They will surely encourage you to think of your thesis. The main idea of your paper must be formulated clearly and precisely. Make sure it is followed by arguments. They are scientific evidence, references, life situations and experience, etc. 

Next, think through the paper’s structure and determine its size. As for the introduction, some students like to start it with an unexpected fact, quote, or rhetorical question. This way, they will immediately capture the reader’s attention. 

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Forget About Multitasking

Of course, our brain is capable of performing several tasks at the same time, but it is better to avoid this. According to numerous studies, multitasking makes us less productive. 

The human brain cannot work on several tasks at once with full dedication. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will be able to formulate a brilliant thesis simultaneously watching TV series or looking through Instagram posts. 

Obviously, if you see the paper writing as some kind of torture, then it will be impossible to concentrate. However, you can find positive motivation and change your attitude. Come up with a reward for yourself. It can be anything: a cup of cocoa, going to a party, or an evening at the spa. The thought of these pleasant moments will give you a boost of energy to continue your work.

Remember About The Deadline

The longer you have till the deadline, the more you are likely to put off an assignment. Therefore, the deadline given by your teacher can be a great motivation – it will make you work faster. When the date is known in advance, you cannot change it. So, all you have to do is sit down and start working.

However, your paper is made up of smaller parts, right? You can set a deadline for each point you need to work on. Of course, this is more difficult, since we have to set optimal time frames for ourselves. While planning, take your own strengths and weaknesses into account. Thus, if you are good at gathering information, you can ask yourself, “Will I be able to devote most of my time proofread my essay ?”

Take Time Off

Needless to say, you need to get some rest to maintain concentration. Try to take short breaks every 30 minutes of intense work. In order not to get lost in this mode, a regular timer will do. But keep in mind that checking out social media isn’t the best way to unwind. Instead, take a walk down the street, drink a glass of water, and do a couple of eye exercises to reduce the tension. 

Also, it’s important not to ignore the lunch break and be sure not to eat in front of your laptop. It’s simple – sitting in one place for several hours is unhealthy and can lead to burnout.

Of course, sports are another amazing way to improve concentration. Physical activity affects our ability to memorize and learn better. So, brain activity and memory are significantly improved even after a 20-minute walk. Therefore, it’s recommended to spend some time outdoors before you get to work.